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A Few Sleeper Options: Wide Receivers
Percy HarvinIcon SMI

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

By Fernando Stepensky (Contributor) Twitter

Wide Receiver Sleepers are bar none, the hardest to predict. Most teams have at least three potential fantasy wide receivers. It takes a lot of interpretation, progression, new situations, and an incredible understanding of the game to correctly predict sleepers at this position. As you read ahead you will find three wide outs that I have picked as my top sleepers.

Danny Amendola, Rams

I am going out on a limb here and I recognize that. Not many people are going with Amendola putting up average numbers, let alone good numbers. Not to mention he is being drafted in the 10th round. However, all the signs seem to point to him having a break out year.

Remember that I love progression? Well, Amendola had a lot of it from his 2009 season to the 2010 season. Games went from 14 to 16, receptions 43 to 85, yards 326 to 689, average yards per catch 7.6 to 8.1, yards a game 23.3 to 43.1, longest reception 25 to 36, and touchdowns went from one to three. Need I say more? Maybe not but I will go ahead and say more anyway.

His '09 season was rough due to a terrible QB situation. Then came along a rookie out of Oklahoma named Sam Bradford and he altered the team from completely terrible to almost making the playoffs. Bradford now has more experience and is going to make smarter throws and play better overall which will benefit Amendola greatly.

The tipping of the iceberg is that now the Rams have former Jaguars wide receiver Mike Sims-Walker. Sims-Walker and Donnie Avery should really open up huge gaping holes for Amendola. Many people are looking at Sims-Walker and Avery to put up the great numbers on the team. Well not me. When defenses are worried about those two, Amendola will be open and prove himself. I feel by Week 5 Amendola will be the one who is being double-teamed and not Sims-Walker or Avery.

Sidney Rice, Seahawks

Rice had an amazing season in 2009 when Brett Favre was playing out of his mind. Then last season he got injured, only played six games, had 250 yards and two touchdowns. Now, those days are long gone and he is a Seahawk. When he was on the Vikings there was a battle for targets with Percy Harvin, but now the clear cut best on the Seahawks is Rice.

The worry in Seattle is two things. One, the quarterback Tarvaris Jackson (also went from the Viking to the Seahawks this year)not being able to play well or lead the team. Two, like I said he is the best receiver on the team meaning he will get double covered. Now, along with those two problems I have two reasons why those problems aren't problems.

Jackson was on the same team with Rice last year and they had chemistry (when Jackson played) and Jackson isn't as terrible as everyone says. He has never had the starting role on a team. The double team worry shouldn't be a worry because Rice was double-teamed in '09 and look how that turned out. I see potential in Rice and like what he is being given in Seattle. Well worth the 6th or 7th round pick.

Percy Harvin, Vikings

Harvin is being taken in the 5th round on some sites and much later in others. People are genuinely scared of the new quarterback in Minnesota, Donovan McNabb. He had a horrible year in Washington last season and was even benched at times, signaling to fantasy owners that he is bad news. I am not a fan of McNabb, but I do think he has some gas left in the tank. Washington is a terrible team with no running backs or receivers, besides Santana Moss. Yet, Moss had over 1,000 yards last season courtesy of McNabb. He can do the same for Harvin

This year McNabb also has a running back (Adrian Peterson) and will be able to run play action very well which helps the passing game.

If McNabb is as terrible as some people think, it shouldn't matter for Harvin. Last year when the bad Favre was throwing passes to Harvin, he still managed to get 868 yards and 5 TDs. Harvin is also going into his third year with signs pointing to progression. He went up in every statistical category last year (much like Amendola) despite having an ineffective QB. If all goes well on the team, Harvin will blow people away. If all goes bad he should still put up some great numbers as he has proven he can do with bad QBs. Even though Harvin is going around the 6th round many draft engines have him really low on the receiver rankings. This means your idiotic friends won't see or think about him, but you will! I am confident you can get Harvin later in many leagues and come out looking like a genius.

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obamagirlSeptember 3, 2011
I feel that Rice will end the season with 800yds rec and 4 td's. Even though he was Dble Teamed in 09, look who his QB was.
fernandoAugust 28, 2011
No problem man and you do have a solid point. Although, I do think their is a possibility of something happening between those two.
gridAugust 26, 2011
How much of the Tarvaris/Rice "chemistry" was due to 8 men in the box trying to stop AP? I just don't buy it, but I'm rooting for them.

Good article and thanks for the replies, Fernando.
FernandoAugust 26, 2011
Parrothead I agree it is risky, but if you read what I said carefully you will understand. McNabb is bad but still gave his No. 1 receiver 1,000 plus yards and Harvin played well last season under bad QBs.

The Vikings won't win many games but Harvin will get many points.
FernandoAugust 26, 2011
grid haha he is pretty bad. Although, Rice will be his go to target and they have chemistry already. Even though Jackson is bad, he will still get Rice the ball a ton! Not to mention we have never seen Jackson play as the starter, so you never know.
ParrotheadAugust 26, 2011
I agree with stocksceince to rely on the Vikings fro any fantasy stats is risky
gridAugust 26, 2011
fernando.. newsflash, Tarvaris sucks.
enochAugust 26, 2011
Out of the three i like Harvin the best.
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